I am Jerry Fogle and I am running for Clark Council at Large.

Election Day (November 8, 2016) is coming fast.  We want everyone to be as informed as possible about the candidates.

Recently, TAPinto Clark and the League of Women Voters hosted a Meet the Candidates event at ALJ. During this event the candidates were given the opportunity to talk about their plans and answer questions submitted by the hard working taxpaying residents of Clark.

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One of the questions the candidates were asked was “The biggest problem facing Clark that no one talks much about is______.”

The incumbents’ answer to this was “rumors” -?? That sounds pretty out of touch for elected officials that claim to have so much experience. Or maybe, as we have said before, they just don’t listen or pay attention to the residents’ concerns.

I have been walking door to door talking to you, the residents of Clark, and find the biggest issue on everyone’s mind is taxes. The reason it may not be talked about much is because they (the residents) don’t believe their current officials will do anything about it.  Our taxes continue to go up even though we have had many new developments in town bringing in millions of dollars. You need a new set of ideas and new voices to do what the incumbents have failed to do for 16 years, LOWER OUR TAXES.

When speaking of taxes we have to also talk about the $176,000.00 in benefits the current mayor and council are getting, all paid for by the hard-working taxpaying residents of Clark. We pledged to the residents, at the meet the candidate’s event, that we would not take taxpayer-funded health benefits when elected to serve the residents of Clark on November 8.

This pledge was not reciprocated by the current incumbents, who actually stated “I am not going to apologize for taking health benefits.”

A health benefits question was posed to all the candidates by the moderator, which means there were enough residents sending that question in for it to be asked.

The incumbents’ excuse for accepting these benefits was that they work “hard” for the residents. This is a job that they ran for; they were not forced to take. I know going in that once we are elected we will have to work hard and long hours. We still will not take benefits, we are doing this to benefit Clark, not ourselves.

If the incumbents think it’s so much work that they “deserve” these taxpayer-paid benefits, maybe this is not the job for them.

The issues and concerns that we raised at this event were the issues and concerns we heard from all the residents we have been speaking to.  The incumbents stated that these issues we raised were just “rhetoric.”

I just wanted to finish with probably the worst thing I heard that night. The residents were told by their current official “TAXES ARE GOING TO GO UP, IF YOU WANT THEM TO GO DOWN, MOVE TO SOUTH CAROLINA.”

Is this what you want to hear from your current elected officials? This statement shows a total disrespect for Clark residents.  We do not believe this is the right way to treat the hard-working taxpaying residents of Clark.

You can help make a change.

Come out on November 8 and support Jerry Fogle, Michele Miller, Pat Murphy for Council-at-Large and Dario Valdivia for Mayor. We are here to serve you without looking for benefits for ourselves and do not want you to move away. We will work hard and represent you the way you deserve to be represented.

Jerry Fogle

Candidate for Council at Large